Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Johnny Wink

Second Reader

Dr. Susan Wink

Third Reader

Dr. Herman Sandford


For the past three semesters, I have had the pleasure of studying the techniques of prosody under the tutelage of Dr. John Wink. In this study, I have read a large amount of poetry and have studied several books on prosody, the most influential of which was Poetic Meter and Poetic Form by Paul Fussell. This splendid book increased vastly my knowledge of poetry, and through it and other books, I became a much more sensitive, intelligent reader of poems.

The problem with my study came when I tried to decide how to in­corporate what I had learned into a scholarly paper, for it seemed that any do so would result in the mere parroting of the words of Paul Fussell and others. Then Dr. Wink pointed out to me that the best way to show what I have learned in a creative, original paper would be to fully explicate two or three poems, relying, on my own opin­ions and judgments, rather than on those of others, Such a paper would be the best indication of whether or not I had truly learned to utilize the tools of prosody.

This paper is the result of that sage advice, In it I have dis­cussed at some length two poems by Richard Wilbur, one of the finest craftsman I have yet encountered in English verse, It is because of this craftsmanship that I have used his poems as the focus of my study, for his poetry is rich with all the conventional poetic techniques that provide the prosodist with a wealth of things to say, But his poetry is much more than merely clever techniques; the content of his poetry is what makes his poems great, Richard Wilbur is a poet with great in­sight and much to tell the world and in this paper I attempt to illus­trate that fact.



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